MyTrueCredit Names Agency for $10M DRTV Effort

A.J. Marketing Inc.'s division has named Inter/Media Advertising, Encino, CA, to handle a $10 million direct response television campaign pushing a range of services aimed at improving a customer's credit.

The effort will use Chuck Woolery, former host of game shows such as “Wheel of Fortune,” “Greed” and “Love Connection,” as spokesman.

“It's actually a very simple problem but hard to communicate,” said Bob Yallen, president of Inter/Media. “It's easy to communicate the problem of bad credit to somebody who knows they have bad credit. But it's harder to communicate that you have credit issues when you personally think you don't.”

In 30-second to 120-second spots, Woolery will admit that even he was surprised to find items on his credit report that did not belong there. The spots will run for a year starting this month on nationally syndicated shows like “Oprah” and national cable channels like Lifetime, Family, ESPN and Court TV.

Founded 11 years ago, Santa Monica, CA-based A.J. Marketing so far has used only direct mail and e-mail to promote its services. It claims it will be the first online credit management company to use direct response TV as a sales tool.

“Right now we're giving away a free credit report, but we're going to test other offers,” Yallen said.

MyTrueCredit will help boost Inter/Media's billings this year to a projected $200 million, double last year's $100 million. The 28-year-old agency's clients include, Wellquest, U.S. Army, Hollywood Miracle Diet, Clorox Co., New Hair and Public Storage.

Inter/Media handled Woolery's contract and shepherded the spots in-house from conception through post-production. The agency also is charged with strategic planning, research, direct response media buying, traffic, tracking and marketing consulting.

Through its proprietary AccuTrak lead and sales tracking system, Inter/Media will identify and attribute customer calls to the MyTrueCredit number and site on a daily and weekly basis.

MyTrueCredit had no incumbent, Yallen said.

The dot-com stigma hit home when A.J. Marketing sought an agency for its arm. But Inter/Media had faith.

“Nobody wanted to speak with the client,” Yallen said. “They went to the Red Book agencies that had scale, but nobody took them seriously. We were willing to listen to their business plan.”

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